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Chapter X.—The Lover to the Beloved One.

“‘Anonymously, on account of the laws of foolish men.  At the bidding of Love, the first-born of all, salutation:  I know that you are devoted to philosophy, and for the sake of virtue you affect the life of the noble.  But who are nobler than the gods among all, and philosophers among men?  For these alone know what works are good or evil by nature, and what, not being so, are accounted so by the imposition of laws.  Now, then, some have supposed that the action which is called adultery is evil, although it is in every respect good.  For it is by the appointment of Eros for the increase of life.  And Eros is the eldest of all the gods.  For without Eros there can be no mingling or generation either of elements, or gods, or men, or irrational animals, or aught else.  For we are all instruments of Eros.  He, by means of us, is the fabricator of all that is begotten, the mind inhabiting our souls.  Hence it is not when we ourselves wish it, but when we are ordered by him, that we desire to do his will.  But if, while we desire according to his will, we attempt to restrain the desire for the sake of what is called chastity, what do we do but the greatest impiety, when we oppose the oldest of all gods and men?

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